WASHINGTON -- The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate have reached a deal to postpone the final vote in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, whether to convict or acquit him, until Wednesday, Feb. 5.
The arrangement delays the vote until after Monday night's Iowa caucus, and the president's State of the Union Address, scheduled for Tuesday. It also ensures that both teams of lawyers in the president's trial are given sufficient time to make their closing arguments, and senators are given time to stand up and explain their votes, if they desire to.
On Friday, the Senate voted down a measure that would have admitted new witnesses and evidence into the trial. The vote dealt a blow to Democrats who had fought for a week to bring former Trump national security advisor John Bolton before the Senate to testify.
Less than two hours later, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a new resolution outlining the sequence of events over the next five days.
The Senate will now stand in recess over the weekend.
The chamber will reconvene on Monday morning at 11 a.m. for closing arguments by both the president's legal team and the Democratic House managers. Between Monday and Wednesday, there will be opportunities for senators to speak.
The final vote on the articles of impeachment will take place Wednesday at 4 p.m. With a two-thirds majority needed to convict a president on impeachment articles, Trump is all but assured of being acquitted.
Friday evening's deal represents a compromise between the White House, which had initially wanted the acquittal vote to be on Friday night, and senators in both parties who wanted to hear closing arguments, take the weekend off, and hold the vote on a day that would not be overshadowed by another major news event, like the Iowa caucus.